LaPlace Insurance Attorneys
Representing LaPlace Individuals, Families, and Businesses in Insurance Disputes
In the aftermath of a hurricane, tornado, or any other kind of natural disaster, the last thing you should have to worry about is whether your insurance company will pay you what you are owed under your policy. Sadly, too many insurance providers refuse to act in good faith and may seek to unfairly deny claims or underpay their clients. In these situations where you are already managing considerable financial burdens, you will need seasoned legal advocates on your side.
At Potts Law Firm, we are here for you when you are struggling to get your life back on track after a natural disaster, no matter the scope or severity of your losses. Our LaPlace insurance lawyers recognize what is at stake and have a complete understanding of how to hold providers accountable for acting in bad faith. With over 250 years of combined experience and over $1 billion recovered for our clients, we are confident we have the knowledge, skills, and drive to get you what you deserve. It’s all about our power, and we are ready to put ours to work for you.
If you have become involved in an insurance dispute, give us a call at (985) 236-0573 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation. Same-day appointments are available, and our firm offers services in English and Spanish.
When Does an Insurance Company Act in “Bad Faith?”
An insurance policy is more than a product or service a consumer buys: It is a binding legal agreement that the policyholder and insurance provider enter together. In exchange for monthly premiums, the insurance company pledges they will compensate the policyholder for any losses covered by their policy terms. Policyholders thus give substantial amounts of money to insurance companies with the promise that their financial worries will be eased if their homes or businesses are hit by a natural disaster.
In an ideal, fair world, insurance companies would make filing a claim and paying out what policyholders are owed a painless, frictionless process. The reality is often much less pleasant: Insurance providers frequently put their own bottom lines over the honoring of their legal agreements, meaning they seek to pay policyholders less than what they should be getting. In some cases, they will deny genuine claims entirely.
There are many genuine reasons why an insurance claim could be denied or a dispute over the level of compensation might develop. For example, some policies explicitly exclude certain types of natural disaster consequences, such as fires and floods, so losses caused by these factors would not trigger coverage. In many other cases, however, insurance companies will look for any reason or excuse to deny or underpay policyholders. It is in these scenarios that an insurance company “acts in bad faith.”
Examples of behaviors that would constitute an insurance company acting in bad faith include:
- Unjustifiably denying a legitimate insurance claim
- Refusing to justify why they have denied a claim
- Refusing to pay a legitimate insurance claim
- Failing to conduct an adequate investigation into the claim
- Delaying an investigation into a claim
- Rejecting or delaying making decisions about medical care
- Accepting a claim but unreasonably delaying payment
- Changing a policy’s terms after a claim has already been filed
- Offering an insufficiently low settlement
- Failing to communicate or respond to requests for information or documentation
- Making unreasonable demands of the policyholder
If you believe your insurance company is deliberately trying to underpay you (or will not pay you at all), consider getting legal advice. Our LaPlace insurance attorneys are happy to review your situation and review your legal options, which may include filing a lawsuit against your provider.
What Types of Damages Can I Recover in a Louisiana Bad Faith Insurance Claim?
Insurance companies often assume their policyholders are not fully aware of their rights or will not have the time or energy to stand up to bad faith practices. You do have recourse when your insurance company treats you unfairly, and you should never let them push you around. If it becomes clear that direct negotiations will not produce a fair outcome, you will likely have to turn to litigation. This remedy is designed to demonstrate that your insurance provider has a legal responsibility to pay you what you are owed under your policy’s terms.
Depending on your circumstances, our LaPlace insurance attorneys may be able to secure the following types of compensation in a bad-faith claim:
- Contract Damages. Contract damages refer to the amount you were supposed to receive under your policy if your insurance company had acted fairly. You can also get any accrued interest, if applicable.
- Extracontractual Damages. When your insurance company refuses to pay you in a timely manner, you will often suffer additional financial consequences that also warrant compensation. We will work to get you money for any out-of-pocket expenses you incurred (such as medical treatment), lost income, emotional distress, pain, suffering, and legal fees.
- Punitive Damages. Punitive damages are designed to penalize the insurance company for bad faith conduct, particularly if they acted maliciously, oppressively, or fraudulently.
Taking prompt legal action is prudent so that you can get compensation as quickly as possible. Keep in mind that, as of 2019, Louisiana enforces a 10-year statute of limitations on bad faith claims. The clock starts ticking the day your claim “arises,” meaning the day you suffer covered losses. You will be unable to sue your provider if you miss this deadline, so do not wait to discuss your case with Potts Law Firm. After carefully assessing your situation, we will walk you through what types of damages we can help you obtain.
If your insurance company continues to only offer unacceptably low settlements, refuses to communicate, or denies your claim entirely, contact us online or call (985) 236-0573. We are not afraid to take on insurance companies and will fight to get you what you deserve.
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I had a wonderful experience with this law firm.- Stephen P.
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